6 cops arrested over missing guns

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Six ranks attached to the Tactical Services Unit of the Guyana Police Force (GPF) are in custody in relation to the disappearance of over 150 firearms from the GPF.

This is according to Crime Chief Wendell Blanhum who noted that the cops will be grilled intensely.

It was reported that an audit into the Police Force revealed that over 150 firearms have vanished under the previous APNU/AFC Government.

It is understood that these weapons were either seized from criminals and were to be exhibits in cases, or were firearms lodged by private citizens.

Subject Minister Robeson Benn had assured that all efforts would be made to track down the firearms, but said he could not give further details until he had completed a perusal of the report. Minister Benn also confirmed that the financial aspect of the audit is continuing.

Under the previous Government, Khemraj Ramjattan – who served as Minister of Public Security – had had oversight of the GPF.

In the past, guns that have gone missing from the hands of the Joint Services have subsequently been linked to criminal activities.

During the 2018 Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into the Lindo Creek massacre, it was revealed that a number of weapons and ammunition which were stolen in February 2006 were later used in the commission of various crimes.

The 2019 audit into the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) is the last time an audit was conducted into the operations of the Police Force. That audit had turned up a heap of financial irregularities, and ultimately resulted in the removal of the then SOCU Head, Sydney James.

The probe into the operations of the white-collar crime-fighting unit was triggered when the former British adviser to SOCU, Dr Sam Sittlington, made a number of startling allegations against the Unit.

Following the allegations, James was subjected to questioning over allegations of improper spending, as part of the investigation and audit which stemmed from the termination of the services of the British adviser.

In February 2018, during his address at the opening of the Annual Police Officers’ Conference, then President David Granger had called for an incorruptible Police Force. He had said that Security Sector Reform, which his administration was committed to and was working on implementing, would seek to tackle this issue that is plaguing the country’s premier law enforcement agency.